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This agile weekend and holiday beach house emulates a continual pattern of usage.

Located near the foreshore, it acts as a suitcase that unpacks on arrival with a series of sliding glazed screens that extend the interior into the exterior deck and vegetation beyond.

The proliferation of trees and the coastal atmosphere of the site balance with the house’s simple rectangular form. The sense of dignity to the street of the small weekender is further enhanced by the subtle manipulation of a series of stepped volumes within the form.

These elevate the living area at the front of the site to provide both views and privacy. The floating of the building above the ground and the timber linings aesthetic respect the language of holiday houses. Views from the house align with particular external features, a cluster of banksias and tea-trees, and the rising and setting sun. Textures and finishes of the house, particularly in the timber linings reflect the vegetation and sand in the surrounding natural environment.

Bedrooms are provided with the first glimpses of the rising sun, kitchen and dining areas face the northern garden aspect and living room heralds the evening with the setting sun.

The house is repacked on departure.

  • Traditional Custodians Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation
  • Location Balnarring Beach, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
  • Procurement Private Commission
  • Project Duration 1994 – 1997
  • Floor Area 135m2
  • Selected Awards
  • Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award for Residential Architecture, RAIA Victoria 1997
  • Victorian Architecture Medal for Best Building of the Year, RAIA Victoria 1997
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